As a stiff breeze funneled over the green hills of the cemetery, I stood by myself and looked at my grandfather’s urn sitting on the table. Tears rolled down my face while I reflected on his life and ours together. It’s been a great one.
He was my grandfather, but he was more than that. We shared a birthday and had many memorable celebrations together. He was a role mode to emulate, a friend to laugh with and someone that meant the world to me. His passion for things that were important to him — family, faith, the Marine Corps — was infectious, and I’ll carry that with me for the rest of my life.
And though he lived in landlocked Iowa and knew very little about sailing and cruising, he always read my articles, columns and stories with the fervor of someone who did. He was thoroughly intrigued by our adventures and said as much. So while we make the trek back to Vancouver Island and Yahtzee to continue on, he’ll be in my thoughts.
I love him. I miss him. Not a day will go by that I won’t think about him. And as he would close any correspondence, “Semper Fi” — Always Faithful (the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps).